First, I was focusing on my laptop, typing away like a fiend. I reached the end of a sentence and looked up to ponder my next step. The door of the store was right ahead of me and I noticed a familiar-looking woman walking across the parking lot toward her car. "Hmm," I thought, "Is that Heidi?"
I shrugged it off and got back to working. Half an hour later, I gave myself a quick twitter break. Sure enough, Heidi sent me a message asking if I had been working at that Starbucks. She then informed me that "You looked pretty intense so I didn't want to interrupt."
I panicked. What did people see when they witnessed me working? I thought about how I will often make expressions reflecting those of my character's emotions. I'll laugh out loud and tear up. I spill coffee on my shirt and get so many refills that my kidney scream for mercy. Basically, I become a jittery schizophrenic.
Sorry, Heidi. No one should have to see that.
The second incident happened the next day. No, I didn't stop going because I didn't want to expose people to my embarrassing writing face. I should have learned my lesson.
That day I was working on the big sex scene in the book. The final one in the series, in fact. The hugely ahem climactic scene.
And then the priest walked in.
And sat down right across from me, so his uber white collar blinded me with its pious glow.
Maybe it was my checkered past with Catholicism that made me feel so ... guilty. Or maybe I just didn't like the idea of a man of the cloth seeing the faces I made while I was writing sex.
OMG, he totally saw my sex-writing face!
I tell you all this because you've no doubt witnessed a writer at work in a Starbucks. Maybe you didn't witness their sex-writing face or overhear their fierce whispers, but you felt the desperation as you passed. You smelled the coffee-scented sweat and saw the cigarette-stained fingers.
Despite the glamorous writing lifestyle promoted by Hollywood--I'm looking at you, Rick Castle--writing is a pitiful, embarrassing process. One best done in private. A lot like sex, come to think of it.
But if I listened to reason, I wouldn't make my living talking to my imaginary friends. So I'll see you at Starbucks tomorrow. I'll be the one staring a hole into my laptop screen and occasionally shouting curses. Just don't make any sudden movements and no one gets hurt.
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The sale goes until Sunday so go by yourself some books. You deserve it!